Booming economy, good weather drive gaming’s biggest month |

Booming economy, good weather drive gaming’s biggest month

Geoff Dornan

CARSON CITY – The growing economy and, unlike a year ago, good weather turned January into an all-time record month for Nevada casinos.

Statewide, the total won by the gaming industry topped $1.14 billion – a 24.43 percent increase over January 2005. That beats the $1.06 billion record set in October 2005. In addition to January this year, every month in 2005 set a new monthly record.

Most dramatic was the 91.64 percent increase over January 2005 reported by Stateline casinos. The $28.8 million total win at Stateline represents a 61 percent increase in game and table win and a 114 percent increase for slots.

But Gaming Control Board analyst Frank Streshley said nearly half that increase was necessary to recover from the 40 percent decrease Stateline casinos experienced in January 2005. The area was practically cut off from the world by continuous snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada and suffered a dramatic drop in total visitors.

The same storms caused an 8.1 percent drop a year ago in Washoe County. But like Tahoe, Washoe rebounded this January with a 15 percent increase to $77.8 million total win, that area’s largest increase since January 2003 (15.3 percent) when the area rebounded from the impact of Sept. 11, 2001.

North Shore casinos, however, didn’t share in the boom this year. The $2.98 million win total there is 14.8 percent less than a year ago. Streshley said there was no obvious reason for the decline.

Neither did the Carson Valley area which includes valley portions of Douglas County as well as casinos in the capital city. Total win was up just over four-tenths of a percent to $9.7 million. Unlike the rest of the state, Carson had nothing to rebound from since the area enjoyed a 16.6 percent increase a year ago while almost every other market in the state was down.

In Southern Nevada, particularly on the Strip, the story was more complicated but, again, much better weather figured strongly in the mix. In January 2005, record rainfall caused extensive flooding in Southern Nevada and Southern California. The resulting disruption including mudslides in the Los Angeles area kept many potential customers home. The result – Clark County win was up less than a half percent in January 2005.

This year, the weather was much better. In addition, the tourist picture was aided by the fact the Chinese New Year celebration began at the end of January. Last year it was all in February.

Win on the Strip was up 29.5 percent to a record $627.5 million. The previous monthly record for the Strip resorts was $600 million.

Because of the booming gaming industry, Streshley said state gaming tax collections are 6.1 percent and $29 million ahead of the state’s predictions thus far this fiscal year.

By the numbers

Area / January Win / Percentage Change

Statewide : $1.141 billion / 24.43%

Carson Valley : $9.7 million / 0.44%

South Shore : $28.78 million / 91.6%

North Shore : $2.97 million / -14.8%

Washoe County : $77.8 million / 15%

Reno : $55.5 million / 16.7%

Clark County : $987.7 million / 24.5%

Las Vegas Strip : $627.5 million / 29.5%

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